Trivia Teaser

In which country was Jean-Claude Van Damme born?

The Netherlands

Mnemonics to Memorise


By Christine Lovatt

My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas. This statement might ring a bell with anyone who has tried to memorise the names of the planets in the correct order. The first letter of each word is the first letter of the planet, so it’s Mars, Venus, Earth, Mercury etc.

Various memorising methods are known as ‘mnemonics’ (the first m is silent), and they crop up in any field where lists of items need to be committed to memory.

Musicians remember the notes of the treble clef as every good boy deserves favour for EGBDF, and for the bass clef good boys deserve fruit always.
Roy G Biv is a well-known mnemonic for the colours of the rainbow, red orange yellow etc.

Then we have rhymes such as “30 days hath September” to remind us how long each month is, and chants such as “i before e except after c” which is patently untrue – what about science, ancient, glacier etc?

The fate of Henry VIII’s wives is memorised in this verse:

Divorced, beheaded, died
Divorced, beheaded, survived.

An acronym is a word made of initial letters of other words. It’s a word you can say, such as NATO, or ASAP.  
You may have made up your own acronyms or mnemonic systems for remembering important details in your life. My four god-daughters are known as CHEC, for Caitlin, Hannah, Emily and Charleigh (NOT that I ever forget any of them).

Mnemosyne was the Greek goddess of memory. She was also the mother, by Zeus, of the Nine Muses.
She probably needed a good memory, to remember the names of her nine daughters!

Let me know if you know some useful mnemonics to share.


Happy puzzling!



2 Responses to

Mnemonics to Memorise

January 22, 2008 at 10:54 PM

Try Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars!

January 30, 2008 at 3:16 PM


Here's 1 for ya to remember the order of these European countries - Austria was Hungary, nipped a bit of Turkey, dipped it in Greece. Long Legged Italy kicked poor Sicily into the middle of the Mediterranean Sea!!